Winter riding tips for the Onewheel
Onewheels are built to take on all types of weather, including cold winter days.
Winter riding tips for the Onewheel
Onewheels are famously made of tough, durable stuff. They’re built for all kinds of weather, not just the sunshine of San Jose. Winter riding can be daunting because it’s full of unknowns for riders. But when the cold temperatures set in it doesn’t mean the fun has to stop, it just means a whole other kind of fun can begin!
Dress for the chill and the thrill
Never underestimate the power of cold temperatures and the winds that go with them. The chill factor in winter is no joke, even for a short ride. Set out without the proper gear and you could be on your way to hyperthermia if you’re losing heat quicker than you’re making it. Riding the OW isn’t an experience that involves too much dynamic movement from the rider unlike something like snowboarding. Large amounts of energy aren’t exerted and your heart rate doesn’t really raise, no matter how much adrenaline you feel pumping through. Dressing the right way to ride your OW in winter means you can concentrate on the thrill of the ride, not the chill outside.
Think wool layers and wool socks. If you’re on a budget, polyester layers are also effective for keeping riders warm, but don’t use anything other than wool socks. Woolen layers create a warm air pocket between each piece of clothing, acting like insulation. Don’t opt for cotton anything, once wet, it stays wet forever and it conducts heat away from the body. Go for a tight base layer, a baggy second layer and then an external layer like a waterproof jacket. Something like the DC Command Snowboard Jacket should hit the spot.
A helmet that covers your ears like the Drift Snowboard & Ski helmet will become an essential item in winter. You could also go all in with a TSG Arctic Nipper helmet instead. Grab a wool balaclava for under your helmet and waterproof gloves like these from Unigear, and you’re good to go. Why not check out how to dress for the slide not the ride so you can find great gear combos that protect your body when you wipe out and your body temp when the snow’s out.
Get to grips with the right tires
The best way to maintain control, traction, and speed on the ground is to invest in the right tires to suit your winter needs. It can be a bit of a minefield when choosing which one you want, but the main players are tires from Hoosier, Vega, or Burris. There’s plenty of discussion on the OW forums about which are best for riding in more challenging conditions, however it’s really a personal choice as to how you want the tire to be when you ride and what kind of rider you are. The OW has a standard 11.5×6.5-6 Vega tire that ensures the rider has a smooth ride over uneven terrains as well as concrete pavements. But, for the best maneuverability when riding on snow or ice look into the Hoosier 11x5.5-6 D30A, which can also be studded for traction. The OW community go crazy for this tire!
If you’re hands on here’s how to change your tire yourself. It’s worth noting changing from one tire to another will void your OW warranty.
Don’t be wet, proof your board
The OW is water resistant not waterproof. A few tips if riding in wintery wet conditions is to thoroughly dry your board down after each ride. Also, wait awhile before you charge it to save your battery disagreeing with any moisture. OW riders suggest waterproofing your board with this cool kit from Badgerwheel to prevent any water getting into the electronics - definitely a top tip for winter riders.
Don’t forget - it’s important to clean your board on the regular to prevent corrosion. We’re talking cleaning down salt or any trapped moisture. Here’s a discussion of how riders clean their boards.
Make winter an earner
One tip beginners or first time board sport riders could consider is to not ride their OW in winter. They may have questions about whether the Onewheel is safe to ride (it is) or they may lack the confidence in their riding skills when tackling more extreme weather. Either way, putting the OW down for a slumber during the cold months is one of the choices owners can make. Long term storage conditions are pretty specific as detailed by the Future Motions team. The battery needs to be at 40-50%, the place it is stored needs to be dry, and the temperature of the room needs to sit between 50-60°F. Check every month to see if the battery is still on the same percent (it should be).
Don’t forget you can look into Onewheel rental too if you’re storing your OW away in winter. You can make money when other people in your local area rent it. Check out our beginner's guide to Onewheel rental for the deets.
Manage your range and your expectations
The OW will not ride as fast or as crisply in winter. Expect it to struggle a little on snow. Turning will be less responsive on ice. Manage your expectations about the OW range, the time your journey will take and how much battery will be consumed during. The motor power and the driving range will go down a fair amount. For example, when riding in average, dry conditions it’s possible to ride until 20% battery before the OW reminds you to charge with some pushback. In winter, it can happen around 50%. A top tip is to check your battery often, make shorter journeys and rejoice that the OW can still be ridden in winter so the fun doesn’t have to stop!
Warm batteries means happy charging
One of the most important tips to note is not to charge your Onewheel when the battery is cold. It will charge much slower, potentially damage the battery and may not even work. Try to remember to bring your OW inside with you wherever you go.
Riding in the winter isn’t for the absolute beginner or those who really suffer the cold. It won’t be like riding in a brillant summers day, winter comes with its own challenges. Challenges that can add to the ride, not take from it! The top tips recommend getting yourself the right clothing for winter, changing your tire if you want better traction, not charging a cold battery, planning your routes ahead of time and if you need to store it away, ensure the conditions are right. Most riders are totally enthused by the winter time as another opportunity to try out the OW on fresh pow and see it come out on top. It’s a pretty sweet way to test what the OW is made of yet again.
Did you find these tips useful? Do you have your own tips for riding Onewheels in the winter?